Release: May 2009
Developer: Japan Studios
Available Platforms: PSP
Players: 1 (2-4 over adhoc network)
ESRB Rating: E
Website: Patapon 2
Shipwrecked in a new and strange land the Patapons will depend on you, the “Mighty One”, to lead them safely through this perilous new adventure. The beat of your mystical war drums will guide your brave tribe through this new land as they come face to face with a deadly new rival tribe, encounter a mysterious and powerful Patapon Hero and uncover the ruins of Patapolis, an ancient place long spoken of by the Patapons.
Like the original Patapon game, you lead your tribe of Patapons on their search for the ruins of their homeland. You guide your tribe by pounding out the marching beat on your drums. As you lead your tribe, you are required to march your Patapons forward, attack, protect, and perform a few other commands.
The Patapons are a really fun group to command. They’re sarcastic, letting you know when you’ve missed the beat, or if they don’t understand your command. Once you really get in a rhythm during battle, you’ll be amazed at what your Patapons can do. It’s a very enjoyable experience.
There are some nice game play enhancements, including drum rhythms that can be adjusted for difficulty. This helps make the game playable—unlike the first Patapon, which toward the end became incredibly frustrating if your timing was ever just a split second off. Additionally, if you really get off the beat during fever mode, a warning drum pounds giving you one last chance to get back on the beat. These two changes alone make this game much more enjoyable than the previous game.
This update to the original franchise also adds a bunch of new features, including tons of new missions (over 80 are included in this sequel), lots of new bosses, and lots of new weapons to find and collect. This release also adds a Hero Patapon character, which is a nice addition to the franchise. This character helps lead your forces into battle and can perform significant damage to enemies when you keep to the rhythm. If you’ve got a couple of friends with PSPs who also own this game, you can try out the multiplayer mode.
Having said all that, this is still really just Patapon 1. Now Patapon 1 was a great game, but if you’ve already played that game and were looking for something that really expanded the genre, you’re out of luck. Granted, Patapon 2 does add tons of new, welcome features, but this is still very much the same game. With a few exceptions, in terms of commanding your Patapons, the game never really goes much beyond the commands for forward, attack, or protect.
If you never played Patapon and enjoy music games like Loco Roco, I’d recommend beginning with Patapon 2. If you’ve already played Patapon, loved it, and are looking for more, then you’ll also enjoy this game. Unfortunately, this game is being released in a download only format, meaning you won’t be able to pick up a used copy at your local game trading store. At only $19, it’s hard to go wrong, but if you’re unsure about this game, try out the demo, available now in the PlayStation Store.